The headquarters of the Gambia Agency for the Management of Public Works (GAMWORKS), located along the Bertil Harding Highway, was Thursday officially inaugurated by the minister of Presidential Affairs on behalf of the president of the Republic, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh.
The event was part of activities marking The Gambia's 48th Independence Anniversary.
In his inaugural address on behalf of the Gambian leader, Dr Njogu L. Bah reminded the gathering that the building adds to the array of various projects that have been inaugurated as part of the events marking country's 48th Independence Anniversary. He said it is also symbolic of the huge infrastructural developments that have taken place in the country since the advent of the July 22nd Revolution.
He continued: "It is pleasing to note that over the years, GAMWORKS has demonstrated competence in the successful execution of the development projects in the area of civil works and infrastructure, such as the construction of roads, markets, schools, health centres, public and community buildings, water supply, drainage and sanitation. I congratulate the board, management and staff of GAMWORKS for their enormous achievements and for their excellent contribution towards the infrastructural development of this country."
Minister Bah expressed satisfaction with the fact that GAMWORKS has diversified its portfolio by working with some public institutions and agencies in the country, such as the University of The Gambia (UTG) and the Gambia Telecommunications Company (GAMTEL). He further expressed appreciation for this development, while hoping that the Agency would nurture its experience and competence in the area of civil works and infrastructure to assist other public institutions.
"I have also been informed and it is worth mentioning that GAMWORKS has been fulfilling its mandate in the areas of capacity building and employment creation. Although the Agency has made considerable progress in these areas, I challenge you to do more so that the capacity of our local contractors can be further enhanced," he remarked, adding that he would like more youths to be trained and gainfully employed in the construction industry.
The Presidential Affairs minister also told the gathering that GAMWORKS has proven that it is a good partner to the government of The Gambia in its quest for sustainable development, by delivering high-quality projects such as the Westfield-Sukuta Road and the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) Landing Station and associated facilities.
"The Agency has also been working with the Ministry of Defence and the Gambia Armed Forces in the construction of military facilities and the rehabilitation and upgrading of barracks and living quarters at Kudang and Yundum. I am therefore happy to re-affirm government's confidence in GAMWORKS and the Agency has my personal support and that of my government," he assured.
On his part, the director general of GAMWORKS, Ebrima Cham, assured that the Agency is ready and willing to work with all sectors of government and public institutions and agencies in order to make a significant contribution towards the achievement of the goals of the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) and Vision 2020.
He explained that the nature of GAMWORKS' operations has evolved compared to its early days. Minister Bah recalled that the Agency was mainly executing World Bank funded projects, but now it is working on projects funded by other development partners such as the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the United States Agency for International Development and the International Cooperation and Development Fund of the government of Taiwan, among others.
"The other evolution in GAMWORKS' operations is that the Agency these days is not only working with the government sectors, but also with public institutions and other agencies such as the Gambia Ports Authority, the Gambia Revenue Authority, University of The Gambia and GAMTEL. This has also meant that there has been a diversification in the sources of funding for GAMWORKS," he further stated.
The ceremony was punctuated with performances by various cultural troupes, among others.